Based on indications of increased difficulty in meeting recruiting goals, in spring 1994 the Army Chief of Staff and the Deputy of Secretary of Defense asked RAND to examine recent trends in the recruiting market and to assess their implications for meeting accession requirements. An initial examination of the 1994 market concluded that the pool of interested high-quality young men was adequate to meet DoD needs. But the system appeared to be less effective in tapping into this supply of potential enlistees. The longer-term analysis, reported here, confirms the reduced effectiveness of recruiting, and also finds that the significant increase in FY91's accessions required to sustain the postdrawdown force, coupled with a smaller decline in youth's interest in military service, translates into a possible supply shortage. The decline in recruiting productivity is most likely due to a number of factors; until they are addressed, meeting accession goals will require a greater level of recruiting resources or different management practices.The researchers offer two short-term actions for consideration: (1) increase recruiting resources and (2) reduce the requirement for high-quality non-prior-service male accessions by recruiting more women, accepting more prior-service accessions, or changing the quality goals. Longer-term actions should be aimed at trying to enhance the cost-effectiveness of recruiting in the postdrawdown environment. This could include: rethinking recruiting management and the cost benefit of alternative recruit quality levels; considering more marketing strategies and enlistment options, particularly ones that would improve the military's ability to recruit persons interested in attending college; and optimizing the match between monthly accession goals and training infrastructure costs.
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